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Numerical Simulation of Surfactant Adsorption in Micellar Polymer Flooding

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Chemical flooding is considered as an attractive alternative to conventional waterflooding. Among chemical flooding approaches, micellar polymer flooding holds a bright future because it can improve the area swept efficiency not only in the macro scale but also in the micro scale. Surfactant adsorption plays an important role in successfulness of the micellar polymer process. Adsorption represents a loss of surfactant agent from solution, and, consequently, a net reduction in the surfactant slug. Therefore, the efficiency of micellar polymer flooding will be significantly diminished not only in technical aspects but also in economics goals if a large amount of surfactant is absorbed in reservoir rock. Unfortunately, numerical simulation of multi-component adsorption is still limited and adsorption process in a polymer/rock system have not yet been well developed; especially for highly heterogeneous reservoir. In this article, the adsorption process was modeled by Langmuir isotherm theory. The simulation results prove that surfactant adsorption strongly depends on surfactant concentration, surfactant molecular weight, salinity, pH, flow rate, reservoir heterogeneities, and alkali. By considering all of those important factors, the optimal design for MP flooding process can be achieved.
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Keywords: enhanced oil recovery; micellar polymer flooding; surfactant adsorption

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada 2: Sejong University, Gwangjin-ku, Seoul, Korea

Publication date: August 18, 2014

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